What a wild move, one never seen in NASCAR before.
Ross Chastain qualified for the Championship 4, but only because he ended up pulling a trick out of his hat at the finish line at the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville on November 6, 2022.
Chastain was running in 10th place entered the final lap and needed to surpass Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota in order for him to qualify and enter into the Championship 4. Chastain knew this and without hesitation decided to slam his No. 1 Chevy into the wall. Chastain ended up passing Hamlin No. 11 and several other drivers just before the finish line which landed him in 5th and qualify him for Phoenix Raceway.
Those who watch NASCAR, and those who just simply seen the video were left speechless and stunned of Chastain’s incredible move.
Watch Charain's after race interview and see how he planned to pull this off. He says he played NASCAR as a child and that is what gave him the idea to try this move in his career.
"I took a crazy move that nobody would have ever thought," Chastain said, claiming he practiced it playing NASCAR 2005 with his brother when he was 12 on the Nintendo GameCube growing up. "When I committed, I had no idea it would work."
Chastain will go on to fight for the Cup title against Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano in the chance to be crowned Champion.
“A lot of people have asked if I would do it again, or am I looking at other tracks [to do it], and I was in the car, I don’t care to ever do that again,” Chastain told FOX’s RaceHub show. “It wasn’t like I had one big hit, but I had the longest wreck that I’ve ever felt because it was just sustained all around the corner with the g-loads.”
The NASCAR driver admitted that he let go of his steering wheel to ride the wall for a few moments.
“I was not expecting to grab fifth gear, because I realized I was going to hit the chip [rev limit] and run out of rpm and slow down more than I wanted to, so I grabbed fifth, fully committed, and about halfway around the corner I finally let go of the wheel. I was like ‘I’m not helping here."
The driver has never let go of the steering wheel on purpose, as most professional drivers wouldn't.
“I gotta say, losing that connection with the car, letting go of the wheel, is normally when I’ve been sliding or on the brake pedal, but to be just on the throttle pedal was just a wild sensation. I felt like the car was going to flip over actually.
When Chastain was asked how he did the move, he said he didn't know. He mentioned that he will not do the move again in the future and expresses that there was a lot of luck involved in this trick.
“I still don't know why it worked. Like, I look back at the physics of it, I have people explain to me what happened, what I felt, why that car did not slow down, why it kept air in the tires."
“The right-front suspension broke, the right-front upper control arm is broken, but I was able to get across the line before I could feel it. Why it worked, I don't know. I have no ideas or plans to ever do that again because it was not pleasant."
“There was a lot of luck involved. I'm not going to shy away from that. But I did have it, like, from the time we took the white flag, I had it in my mind. You cannot leave the wall. Once I'm on the backstretch, I have to follow it."
“It actually has [more of] a kick-out or pocket I'll call it into [Turn] 3 than I even thought. When I hit the wall, I hit it pretty hard on entry, which surprised me. I thought I could kind of lay into it."
“I was fully accepting of the risk of running wide open into a steel wall around a tight corner and whatever happened happened. I had fully accepted that. What's wild is I only thought of it 10 seconds earlier, then five seconds later made the decision, then five seconds later, like, acted on it.”
Riding the walls works well in video games and does little to no damage to the car and has low consequences, like losing a race. However, in the real world it damages NASCARS and can have some serious consequences, not to just the driver recklessly driving, but for the other drivers around him as well. The move can also come off as unprofessional driving, and Kyle Larson among a few other drivers agree.
Hendricks Motorsports driver Kyle Larson was totally against the wall ride move.
"That's not a good look for our sport. Maybe you guys think it's cool. I think it's embarrassing," Larson told assembled press after the race.
Watch the video below.
Drivers can be upset and mad at the move, however the move was not illegal, and the move was noticed by fans and spectators as awesome and sick and in the end, the move paid off and if Ross Chastain goes onto win the 2022 Championships, then he will have that wall ride performance he nailed to perfection to thank.
Watch the full video below.
Source links: (1) Ross Chastain | Cornelius NC | Facebook
This article was first on Gear Head on November 11, 2022.